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A family on board the LÉ Niamh last month. Defence Forces

Defence Forces staff set to stay on duty in Mediterranean until November

The LÉ Samuel Beckett will be the third Naval Service vessel to be deployed to the region.

Updated at 11.50pm

THE LÉ SAMUEL Beckett will replace the LÉ Niamh in the Mediterranean at the end of September, the government has confirmed.

The coalition has decided to extend the mission of the Naval Service responding to the migrant crisis, with defence minister Simon Coveney noting today:

“The success of the operations carried out to date by L.É. Eithne and L.É. Niamh involving recovering over 6,000 migrants demonstrates clearly the value of Ireland’s participation in this important humanitarian response.”

The ‘Beckett’ was commissioned in May of last year at a naming ceremony beside the Samuel Beckett Bridge in Dublin city centre.

Manned by a crew of up to 44 personnel, she replaced the LÉ Emer which was decommissioned and sold in 2013.

She will be the third Naval Service vessel to be deployed to the region, after the LÉ Eithne was sent to respond to the crisis at the start of the summer.

According to a statement:

“The L.E. Samuel Beckett will replace the L.É. Niamh at the end of September and will deploy until 30 November 2015 dependent on the operational demands and requirements arising.”

The Minister added:

“While our role in the Mediterranean is making an impact in the short term  in terms of saving lives, longer term solutions to address the migrant crisis are needed. I will be meeting my EU colleagues tomorrow at the Informal Ministerial meeting in Luxembourg to discuss a range of issues including progress of the EU military mission in the Mediterranean.”

The Minister concluded that ”a comprehensive approach is required to address this complex crisis with a view to developing longer term solutions ”.

Read: Passengers told to listen for ‘walking on roof’ as migrants cause Channel Tunnel chaos

Poll: Should every town in Ireland take in 10 refugee families? 

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